Together we can close the gap with Indigenous Australians

Together we can close the gap with Indigenous Australians

Who are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the traditional owners of the land of Australia and are considered to be the oldest living civilisation in the world, with a history dating back at least 60,000 years. Their cultures are incredibly intricate and diverse – with different stories, languages, ceremonies, arts and knowledge which is passed down from one generation to another.

Why are Indigenous people disadvantaged?

Despite their rich history, they face many challenges today. They experience widespread inequality, discrimination and cultural disconnection as a result of complex policies and systems in Australia that have limited their voices from being heard.

What is closing the gap?

The Closing the Gap campaign is a strategy developed by the Australian Government which aims to tackle issues disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. There is currently a gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the achievement of key indicators of development – child mortality, early years education, children’s literacy and numeracy, school attendance and completion, employment and life expectancy.

Recent Closing the Gap reports show that, despite some progress, more initiatives focusing on holistic approaches – supported by community knowledge and wisdom and in partnerships with Indigenous communities and organisations – are needed to drive further change.


What is World Vision doing to close the gap?

Since 1974, World Vision Australia has been working closely with Indigenous communities and charities to support the realisation of their aspirations and goals. Collaboratively, we explore and create solutions to the challenges they face and develop ways forward that are tailored and adapted to local contexts to close the gap.

At World Vision Australia, we are committed to listening to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities to reduce the inequality affecting communities and to work towards closing the gap.

How do we achieve change in communities?

We strongly believe that a community-led development model is the most effective way of achieving long-term, sustainable change. We also bring our expertise from international development and tailor it to the needs of each Indigenous community with whom we partner.

This allows us to ensure communities are supported to achieve their own development goals, can build on their own strengths and actively create meaningful solutions to their own challenges. As a part of our pledge to helping the world’s most vulnerable children, we are committed to listening to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

This is because listening well goes to the core of our approach – building trust and strong relationships – that form the foundation for achieving positive outcomes and lasting change.

For more information, see the Executive Summary of the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap report here.

How are Indigenous Australians disadvantaged?

Closing the gap statistics

  • 20% of four to five-years-olds are not attending preschool*
  • 38% of job-seekers do not complete Year 12**
  • 43% of Year 4 students fall beneath the low benchmark for reading**
  • 59% of the Australian youth detention population is Indigenous**

*Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (2018), “Report Card 2018: The Wellbeing of Young Australians”
**Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (2017), “Australia’s Welfare: Community factors and Indigenous wellbeing”



How we’re working towards closing the gap


Early Childhood Care and Development

We’re closing the gap on education by partnering with remote Aboriginal communities to deliver early years education and parenting support. Local women facilitate culturally-appropriate playgroups, laying the foundations for life-long learning and children’s wellbeing, to give them the best start in life.


Young Mob Program

The Young Mob Program strengthens Indigenous youth connections to culture and empowers them to develop and grow their leadership and life skills. Strong links to culture are important factors in young Indigenous health and emotional wellbeing and helps participants create a brighter future for themselves.


Martu Leadership Program

The Martu Leadership Program is a leadership and learning program for Martu men and women aimed at strengthening their leadership skills and understanding of mainstream society so that they are empowered to shape their own futures and lead their own development.


Channels of Hope

Channels of Hope is a faith-based program that aims to combat gender-based violence using faith, culture and collaboration. Through a focus on family harmony, respectful relationships and gender equity, the program promotes positive, healthy and strong relationships for all.

Donate today to help close the gap


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Our Reconciliation Action Plan

Closing the gap is also about working to support our own staff in their journey of reconciliation and focusing on World Vision Australia’s contribution to the wider support for the national reconciliation movement. Read more.

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